Well if reports are to be believed, it looks like Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is set to join Marseille after agreeing personal terms.
Now I must make clear that this is only a rumour at this stage and the provider of this inside information is Foot Mercato. I took the time to have a look at their website but to be honest, it proved fruitless as my French speaking abilities really comes down to a few cuss words at best.
This rumour does seem to have some legs though. After playing in most of the pre-season games Mbiwa has been a noticeable absentee in the Premier League thus far and really doesn’t look like breaking into the starting eleven any time soon. Couple this with reports that we are interested in Micah Richards and Virgil Van Dijk and it seems that there really may not be any future for Mbiwa at Newcastle.
After signing from Montpellier in January 2013 for a reported £8.5m fee, Mbiwa came to Newcastle with a very good reputation and great deal of excitement was building amongst Newcastle Fans. During his first season he played 14 games (three as sub) and looked a little off the pace as he tried to adapt to the cut and thrust of the Premier League. I can’t speak for everyone but most fans were more than willing to give him some time to adapt and show what he was really capable of.
The 2013/14 season was his chance to show what he could bring to the team but unfortunately he struggled to keep a hold of a starting place in the first team. In the end he made 23 appearances (five as sub) and between some promising performances there were some terrible gaff’s that really seemed to set him back. His red card against Liverpool was the moment he lost the faith of Alan Pardew in my opinion. Even when we were leaking goals at the end of the past season, Pardew seemed reluctant to give the young Frenchman another chance and centre half. When given the opportunity to play it was left back and this could hardly be called his preferred position on the park.
So, what of Mbiwa. Is he a good player that has not been utilised properly and given the time to come to terms with the Premier League? Or is he simply out of his depth and Newcastle are wise to move him on so they can look at getting a new centre half signed before the transfer window shuts?
What are your thoughts?